Israel Will Invade Rafah Regardless Of Hostage Deal – Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday that Israel will invade Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, even if Hamas agrees to the latest Israeli proposal for a cease-fire.

The idea that we will halt the war before achieving all of its goals is out of the question,” Netanyahu said, at a meeting with representatives of families of people taken hostage by the Palestinian militant group.

We will enter Rafah and we will eliminate the Hamas battalions there — with or without a deal, in order to achieve the total victory,” he added.

The families urged Netanyahu to “withstand the international pressure” to halt the war in Gaza, the statement published by the Prime Minister’s Office said. U.S. President Joe Biden has said an invasion of Rafah would be a “red line,” though Netanyahu vowed to defy that.

Israel has carried out regular airstrikes on the city since the start of the war and has threatened to send in troops, calling Rafah the last Hamas stronghold. Overnight Monday, Israeli airstrikes killed at least 22 people, including six women and five children, Palestinian health officials said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday during an election debate co-hosted by POLITICO that it would be “completely unacceptable” for Israel to attack the Palestinian city but declined to call it a “red line” that would result in EU sanctions against Israel


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